“An insult not just to one individual, but to all womenfolk”

Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhvadia on Tuesday lambasted Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his “most uncivilised” remarks against Union Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife and said that as a Gujarati he was hanging his head in shame at Mr. Modi’s conduct.

Mr. Modhvadia said every Gujarati felt ashamed of Mr. Modi’s remarks during a rally in Himachal Pradesh on Monday. It was an insult not just to any one individual but to the entire womenfolk. He said that as a leader from Gujarat he was tendering an unconditional apology to women for Mr. Modi’s conduct but believed that the Chief Minister should realise his misconduct and issue a public apology to women.

Recalling that during the 2002 communal riots, the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had castigated Mr. Modi for not performing his “Raj Dharma,” Mr. Modhvadia said that even after a decade it seemed the Chief Minister had not learnt what his “Raj Dharma” was. Mr. Modi had shown scant regard for the Indian culture of showing respect to women, he said.

Mr. Modhvadia said that if the “secrets” about Mr. Modi’s wife were brought out, the people would start hating the Chief Minister. Though Mr. Modi claimed himself to be a bachelor, the truth was that he did marry Jashodaben but left her in the lurch.

Repeated insults

He said it was not the first time Mr. Modi made insulting remarks about women. His recent remarks about women in Gujarat being more “beauty conscious” ignoring health, as an excuse for his government’s failure to remove malnutrition among the poor women, brought shame to the entire State, Mr. Modhvadia said.